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DownUpDave
10-06-2017, 08:53 AM
I had done a build in progress thread on this LfdM baritone. It is completed and I have been playing it for about a month. I would have done a NUD thread sooner but life got in the way, as did recording equipment issues. So I am sad to say I don't have a recording but just google LfdM baritone and HMS has a few sound samples up. Those guy do these instruments the justice they deserve.

To recap the details this is a large body baritone with a scale length of 22-1/4". It really has the tone of a small 4 string classical guitar, which is what I really like about it.

Bearclaw sitka spruce top
Bocote back and sides
Arm rest
Slotted headstock
Side sound port
Port Orford cedar neck with two bocote strips and a carbon fibre rod
Radiused macassar ebony fret board
Snake wood body binding, armrest, tall graft and fretboard binding
Zero fret
Macassar ebony 12 hole bridge
Snake wood and mother of pearl rosette
Black and white purfing
Mother of pearl side dot markers only

Comes with a custom made Ameritage hard case. Because this uke is so different in size and shape Luis gave Ameritage the dimensions and they build them to fit perfectly. All his baritones are sold with the case, yes it adds to the cost, yes it's worth it.

This instrument has exceeded all my expectations, simple as that. I have been lucky enough to play three other baritones Luis has made and they are all incredile instruments. Simon and Brenda have both played this and thought it was wonderful. Nice thing about both of them is you will get an honest opinion.

It is big and the neck is long so being "just" a uke player the extra size and stretch takes some getting use to. But it plays effortlessly, like my LfdM tenor and the balance is even better. LfdM can be a bit head heavy, just a bit, with the snake head design. This is why we came up with a diferent headstock design and used Port Orford cedar for the neck, mission accomplished. Sound preference is very personal but the only negative about owning this is all my other ukes are pale in comparison.

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DownUpDave
10-06-2017, 09:11 AM
More pics different lighting

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DownUpDave
10-06-2017, 09:34 AM
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stevejfc
10-06-2017, 10:19 AM
Congrats Dave.............it's a real beauty.

Rakelele
10-06-2017, 10:38 AM
Congratulations my friend, it turned out beautiful! That bearclaw spruce top looks incredible. As does everything else. Enjoy your new flagship!

I sure hope you can bring this along when you come visit me...

mountain goat
10-06-2017, 11:47 AM
It's really lovely, Dave. Huge congratulations mate.

Ukulele Eddie
10-06-2017, 01:01 PM
What a beauty, congrats! Gorgeous spruce top. I can't imagine what the case weighs since an Ameritage for a tenor uke weighs 9 lbs. Watch your shoulder!! ;-)

Jim Hanks
10-06-2017, 03:42 PM
22"?!? How can you play that monster? ;)

Looks great, Dave. :cool:

tangimango
10-06-2017, 03:45 PM
just awesome, baris are the best

luv2uke
10-06-2017, 06:09 PM
Dave,
Congrats on a fantastic looking instrument!

Booli
10-06-2017, 06:18 PM
Congrats brother! :drool: Looks great!

I love the 22" scale on my tenor guitar.

Louis is really at the top of his game as per your and Brenda's latest acquisitions. :)

Best of luck with the new baby. :rock:

zztush
10-06-2017, 06:59 PM
Hi, Dave! Congrats on your new bari!

We often attach fore arm instead of upper arm (red circle) to guitar in order to avoid nerve trouble. This arm rest is very good idea for this bari. Your arm is no numb. :)

https://s1.postimg.org/9o2x4u1flb/IMG_3868.jpg (https://postimages.org/)

I am bit surprised that this is still a ukulele, which contacts to your lap with yellow triangle instead of green triangle of guitar. For me, it is ideal size of instrument.

kvehe
10-06-2017, 11:27 PM
How beautiful!

Alytw
10-07-2017, 01:36 AM
Looks wonderful! Congrats Dave.

dkcrown
10-07-2017, 01:36 AM
Congrats on a beautiful looking uke Dave. And great photos as well!

DownUpDave
10-07-2017, 02:14 AM
@stevejfc.....I think it's a beauty too, thanks Steve.

@Raklele....Rainer this turned out very well and the bearclaw top holds my attention everytime I look at it. As Eddie pointed out the case is a beast, weighs a ton so I don't think I will be travelling with it. But you never know!!!

@Camsuke....Thank you Campbell

@mountain goat...Hey Jon I appreciate the huge congraulations brother

DownUpDave
10-07-2017, 02:19 AM
@Eddie Ukulele...I know you like bling Eddie and this has a lot going on. You are so right about the case, gotta watch my shoulder, back and knees picking it up, lol.

@Jim Hanks.....You are right it is a monster, but in a good way.

@Tangimango....Thanks, I am a fan of linear tuning so baris really do it for me as well

DownUpDave
10-07-2017, 02:28 AM
@luv2uke....I enjoy looking at it as much as playing. By the way I "luv" your username (see what I did there)

@Booli...I appreciate your comments. Luis is at the top of his game, even after decades he still strives to improve. I do like the longer scale length , like a tenor guitar, as it increases string tension and really drives the top. This is not muddy and dull sounding. It is bright, articulate and powerful. It holds its own with my three steel string tenor guitars, no other uke in my stable can do that.

@zztush....Interesting and astute observations as always. You are correct about the dimensions and size still allowing me to play it in the same holding postion as a uke.

DownUpDave
10-07-2017, 02:35 AM
@Kvehe....Hey Kathryn how have you been. I agree with you about it being beautiful and fortunately it sounds as good as it looks.

@Alytw...Adam long time no talk, how was your summer. You will have to come over and play it. I'll throw another party and Brenda can bring her new/used LfdM.

@dkcrown....Thanks for the compliments Dana, the photos did come out good, considering it's just a tablet

DownUpDave
10-07-2017, 03:08 AM
Thought I would post a picture comparing the LfdM baritone to other instruments. You can see the Mya Moe baritone body is actually longer at 14" than the LfdM at 13-1/2". But the LfdM is 12" wide and the Mya Moe is 10". These are bracketed by a Blueridge tenor guitar and a Farallon tenor ukulele.

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Osprey
10-07-2017, 03:41 AM
Thought I would post a picture comparing the LfdM baritone to other instruments. You can see the Mya Moe baritone body is actually longer at 14" than the LfdM at 13-1/2". But the LfdM is 12" wide and the Mya Moe is 10". These are bracketed by a Blueridge tenor guitar and a Farallon tenor ukulele.

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Nice picture, Dave. Great bunch of instruments.

Booli
10-07-2017, 04:02 AM
Nice picture, Dave. Great bunch of instruments.

I agree. That's a great spectrum from larger to smaller. :)

bariukish
10-07-2017, 04:26 AM
Absolutely stunning instrument, Dave. I know they are different instruments but it would be interesting to compare your new prize with the UL series Pono, at least in terms of dimensions. Thanks for sharing.

DownUpDave
10-07-2017, 04:32 AM
Absolutely stunning instrument, Dave. I know they are different instruments but it would be interesting to compare your new prize with the UL series Pono, at least in terms of dimensions. Thanks for sharing.

I have lent the UL4-20 to a friend. I will get it back next week and do a comparison picture for you.

SoloRule
10-07-2017, 08:05 AM
I have lent the UL4-20 to a friend. I will get it back next week and do a comparison picture for you.

You didn’t leant it to me.
All I want is your Kala. Ha ha

Booli
10-07-2017, 08:27 AM
You didn’t leant it to me.
All I want is your Kala. Ha ha

Brenda is ALIVE!

Thank goodness! :)

I was worried that you were on a cruise ship that got misdirected into the Bermuda Triangle and had somehow time-warped back to play with Bruddha Iz, and decided to stay there....:)

Alytw
10-07-2017, 12:39 PM
Yeah, it’s been a busy summer. Which strings are you using for that scale?

DownUpDave
10-07-2017, 02:27 PM
Yeah, it’s been a busy summer. Which strings are you using for that scale?

I have been experimenting with classical guitar strings. Right now I have D'Addario NYL035W & NYL030W on the D&G positions and Dogal Diamente extra soft on the E&A positions. I will move to soft then normal tensions and see which I like. I had Oasis GPX carbon classical guitar strings on initially but they were a bit too bright. You read that right.....too bright, great problem to have with a baritone most are too muddy and you can't do much about that. The Dogals have added some warmth and as I go up in diameter they will become warmer.

DownUpDave
10-08-2017, 01:05 AM
Nice picture, Dave. Great bunch of instruments.

Thanks Cliff, I like them all. It sounds like you are really enjoying the baritone size. I know your all solid mahogany Kala has a great tone, Brenda owns one and I have enjoyed playing it.

SoloRule
10-08-2017, 02:03 AM
Looking at your uke family picture by the stairs , put a smile on my face. Those stairs are where we all found comfort and security when trying out each other instruments.
I have had the privilege of playing this baritone. It sings like a classical guitar. The richness of her voice stayed in my head for days. I don't get impressed easily of an instrument just because of the brand. . This one definitely blew me away especially if you are a finger style player. Each note comes out clean and well balanced. There is something about it that even my lousy playing sounds like a pro! Now I need one of those! ( and your Kala)

Alytw
10-08-2017, 03:03 AM
I have been experimenting with classical guitar strings. Right now I have D'Addario NYL035W & NYL030W on the D&G positions and Dogal Diamente extra soft on the E&A positions. I will move to soft then normal tensions and see which I like. I had Oasis GPX carbon classical guitar strings on initially but they were a bit too bright. You read that right.....too bright, great problem to have with a baritone most are too muddy and you can't do much about that. The Dogals have added some warmth and as I go up in diameter they will become warmer.

I agree that many baritones can sound muddy- at least to me. You’re getting into classical guitar territory. Every set of carbons that i have tried have sounded too bright for my guitar. I really like Augustine Imperials with pyramid basses. Ramirez and Augustine classics might be a bit warmer.

Is the tension okay? Dogals are really low tension, the strong is like normal tension from most other brands.

Booli
10-08-2017, 03:18 AM
I agree that many baritones can sound muddy- at least to me. You’re getting into classical guitar territory. Every set of carbons that i have tried have sounded too bright for my guitar. I really like Augustine Imperials with pyramid basses. Ramirez and Augustine classics might be a bit warmer.

Is the tension okay? Dogals are really low tension, the strong is like normal tension from most other brands.

Not sure about the Dogals, but most low-tension classical strings are about 9-10 lbs of string tension and most high-tension strings are about 16 lbs of string tension, and this is PER STRING.

Most 'normal' tension classical strings are 10-11 lbs of string tension PER STRING.

The tension also differs based upon wound vs. unwound and what material the string is composed of, nylon, fluoro or other and what metals are wrapped on the wound strings.

I've observed the following after testing over 100 discrete sets of strings:


Thinner strings = more sustain = less tension = less volume = brighter tone
Thicker strings = less sustain = more tension = more volume = warmer tone

DownUpDave
10-08-2017, 03:27 AM
I agree that many baritones can sound muddy- at least to me. You’re getting into classical guitar territory. Every set of carbons that i have tried have sounded too bright for my guitar. I really like Augustine Imperials with pyramid basses. Ramirez and Augustine classics might be a bit warmer.

Is the tension okay? Dogals are really low tension, the strong is like normal tension from most other brands.

You are right about Dogals being low tension strings, the extra soft is too soft even for me. They are actually a hybrid material combining nylon and florocarbon. Once I've gone through the Dogals I have Hannabach nylon classical guitar strings to try. I have the normal tension on my Farallon tenor, 032" on the E postion and. 0285" on the A postion and absolutely love them on that instrument.

Alytw
10-08-2017, 03:56 AM
Booli- Dogals are lower tension than typical.

Dave- I also thought that they also lost a bit of sustain compared to my other strings. I’m not sure if that was because of the tension or just my specific guitar.
Hannabach are good strings. They didn’t work out on my guitar but were fine on the mini.

sam13
10-10-2017, 08:39 AM
I have had a chance to play this Baritone ... it is so great. Luis did a wonderful job with a superb eye for finishing it.

Every time I visit Dave, I reach for this Baritone as it is a treat to play.

Congrats Dave on a super choice of woods, and Luthier!

DownUpDave
10-10-2017, 03:31 PM
Absolutely stunning instrument, Dave. I know they are different instruments but it would be interesting to compare your new prize with the UL series Pono, at least in terms of dimensions. Thanks for sharing.

Ask and thou shall receive. The photo pretty much says it all. They are the same over all length at 32" but as you can see the Pono has a much longer body at 15-3/4" compared to the LfdM at 13-1/2". Lower bout on the Pono is 11-1/4" to LfdM 12". Pono scale length is a bit shorter at 21-1/2" to LfdM 22-1/4". Pono has 12 frets to the body while LfdM has 16. Both are comfortable to play for "big ukes"

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bariukish
10-12-2017, 04:12 AM
Ask and thou shall receive. The photo pretty much says it all. They are the same over all length at 32" but as you can see the Pono has a much longer body at 15-3/4" compared to the LfdM at 13-1/2". Lower bout on the Pono is 11-1/4" to LfdM 12". Pono scale length is a bit shorter at 21-1/2" to LfdM 22-1/4". Pono has 12 frets to the body while LfdM has 16. Both are comfortable to play for "big ukes"

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Thanks a bunch, Dave. I guess asking for a comparative sound sample would be pushing my luck.

Patrick Madsen
10-13-2017, 09:54 PM
Dang Dave, that is one spectacular bari. I thought the UL was big but your LfdM looks larger in volume. I bet it sounds like a canon. For myself, the higher the tension the better.

Mezcalero
10-17-2017, 03:48 PM
Congratulations Dave! It really is a fantastic looking instrument. I have only had one experience participating in the design process on a custom build. I really enjoyed it, and could not be happier with the outcome of my Ono. It sounds like, being close to Luis, you really had a lot of fun participating in the build process. I would love to hear how it sounds when you have a chance.